dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Sunday, March 31, 2013


Here's another Sacred Peace Walk 2013 photo I'd like to share with you.  It's from orientation day, the first day.

happy Easter

Yesterday we hiked at Red Rock.  We hiked up a canyon we had hiked up before but got farther this time.  It was really fun.  We went a few miles.  Our surroundings kept changing as we went up--the plant communities kept changing, the rockiness, the colors of the earth.  We hiked through joshua trees for a while.  There was yucca, cholla cactus, a few little wildflowers, and lots of plants we do not know.  No creosote there.

It sprinkled on us a little bit.  The sky was very cloudy.  Toward our farthest point, there were some big rocks that made great seats, and we ate our sandwiches.  We also shared a strawberry tootsie roll pop.  "Is it okay if I bite it?" I asked Ming.  He said yes.  I ate all the tootsie roll part.

There were a lot of stink bugs.  Last time we were on the trail, there was a lot of poop, so we called it Poop Canyon.  This time it was Stink Bug Canyon.  I told Ming there was a stink bug party up on the mountain, and all the stink bugs were trying to get there.

Our friend told us to read Song of Solomon to one another.  So we took a Bible with us.  But we never read.

This morning, hard boiled eggs for breakfast, on toast, my traditional Easter breakfast.  We'll go to mass at 10. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Las Vegas Catholic Worker

Last night was Ming's birthday party.  Some people didn't come who we thought would come, but that was okay.  I baked a chocolate cake.  The middle was fine, but the edges were tough, for some reason, and I had never bought frosting before.  I always made my own frosting.  Frosting from a can is not tasty!  Oh well.  He was honored by the birthday wishes and birthday love.  "You don't have to eat it," I told Ming.  He had a corner piece.

"It's lovely," he said.

We are still in Nevada.  We are in Las Vegas for a few more days.  This morning we served the hungry with Las Vegas Catholic Worker.  I am still trying to figure out whether I'm a Catholic Worker.  The name is unfortunate because you don't have to be Catholic.  They are anarchists, my favorite.

Today we were lucky because someone was doing handprints.  J said, "If you haven't done a handprint yet, come over here."  He painted our left hands, which felt good.  Ming did purple, and I did yellow.  Then we pressed our painted hands against the fence, wrote our names and the date in permanent marker, but we put the date as yesterday.  This is on a wooden fence outside Las Vegas Catholic Worker.

We helped stir huge pots of breakfast stew, which we couldn't eat because it has ham in it, then served at the serving site.  I drank some pretend lemonade and ate a croissant which mysteriously emerged from the bread bucket.  (I have served bread before and never once saw a croissant.)  We drank cold tea too.

Then we headed back to help dishwash.  I dipped the pots and utensils in sanitizing water after they had been washed and rinsed.  Ming dried.  "Am I neglecting you?" I asked because he was on the end, and I seemed to be handing the pots and utensils to the other workers instead of him.  He assured me that he was not feeling neglected.

peace walk stats

Dear World,

I wanted to let you know how much Ming and I walked on the Sacred Pace Walk this year.  Well, last year we walked separately.  This year we walked almost every step side by side, holding hands.  It was good.

Sunday--ten miles on the Strip
Monday--seven miles? through the desert
Tuesday--five miles? through the desert
Wednesday--rest day
Thursday--seven miles through the desert, all pre-lunch (7:10 to 1:10 or so)
Friday--half a mile

So we walked almost 30 miles, which is almost half of all total miles.  I was telling Ming that ten miles in one day is pretty badass, for me.  And even seven miles, when it's through the desert, no shade, and uphill (because it's uphill to the test site) is pretty badass too. 


ps  Ming notes that we're at a higher elevation here too, so it's harder than walking at home.  That makes our stats more impressive.

Friday, March 29, 2013

three pics with us in them

peace walk day six

No, I did not get arrested today.  I wanted to.  In the morning, at the sunrise ceremony led by a Native American Spiritual Person, I felt that I needed to do it, to get arrested for peace today.  But when the time came, my friends were crossing the line together, and I didn't cross with them.  They crossed in a group.  I wasn't ready.  I hadn't handed my stuff to Ming for safekeeping.  And then the moment passed.

I was telling Ming how Sacred Peace Walk this year was a very mixed experience for me.  There were really good and really bad moments.  I wasn't dazzled like last year, when everything was new and I didn't know what was going to happen.  Last year I was kind of knocked on my ass by everything, in a good way or mostly-good way.  This year I was mellower.  I was also struggling more socially this year.  I made some friends, but I kept some distance too. 

I want to thank everyone who made the Peace Walk possible for me through your donations.  I have thanked most of you individually already.  But I wanted to thank you here.  Thank you.

I'm even more sunburned than yesterday.  Ming's birthday is today.  He has received lots of good birthday wishes.  I baked him a cake.  It's probably almost cool now, and I need to frost it.

Happy good Friday!  Happy birthday, Ming!  I love you.

peace walk day five

note: This is a post I wrote yesterday and couldn't send because the internet at the Goddess Temple was down.
This morning we walked for peace.  We walked seven miles.  We got really tired, though.  The desert is an amazing place, with its serene mountains, huge expanses, the light, the quiet.  The sounds of our footsteps, the sounds of the traffic as it passes, our breath.  The conservation we share.  Ming and I sang sacred songs.  Today was the last full day of walking--tomorrow we do Stations of the Cross and walk a very short distance to the Nevada Test Site where some of us will cross the line and get arrested.  

So that's the haps!  Seven miles today.  Ming is working on a salad.  My legs hurt and my feet hurt.  But I showered.  It feels good to be clean.  

I forgot to tell you someone gave me a scarf she knitted.  It's beautiful.  "You can always use another scarf," she said.  She told me I'm an inspiration, and I couldn't figure out how... 

I'm sunburnt and filled with feelings.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

peace walk day four

Ming's helping people with blisters.  I'm blogging, apparently.  Today was the Peaceover Seder, and it was good but I had a lot of feelings about it.  Like someone said we should call out the names of ancestors and people who we wished were here.  I almost cried then.  Peace walking is emotional.  The veggie matzo ball soup was delicious.

Someone said goodbye to us today.  She had to go home to New York early.  She was crying a lot and gave me a long, cuddly hug.  I love her, but I barely know her.  That's what peace walking is like.   She was full of enthusiasm, and I heard her exclaim joyfully about many things.  I will miss her.

This morning we vigiled at Creech Air Force Base where pilots fly drones.  The drones kill people.  It's wrong.  There are civilian casualties, civcas.  My friends got arrested.  I was concerned for them.  Another friend was not arrested but talked to a cop who was riding a horse.  They had a good conversation, I heard later.  I was worried about him with the love of a relative.  Peace walking is splendid that way.

They staged a die in.  Someone had a pretend drone and went around pretending to kill the others.  They fell to the ground.  Then other activists drew chalk outlines around the bodies.  It was a great performance.  The Native American spiritual person and his friends drummed loudly.  It was a climactic few moments.  I had mixed emotions.  I was happy and worried at the same time.

There's so much more I could say, but it's hard to explain, especially when I'm in a livingroom of a guesthouse at a Goddess temple and everyone's talking.  So bye for now!

Oh, I wanted to say I was scared of cops, I was scared of the military photographer, I don't like being flipped off, but someone told me it's halfway to a peace sign, the one-fingered salute.  Tomorrow we walk more, and Friday more of us will get arrested.  Will I be one of them?  Tune in on Friday night to find out.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

peace walk day...three

Last night we slept out in the middle of the desert.  We camped by the side of the freeway, and it was fun.  This morning we had a sunrise ceremony led by a Native American spiritual person.  Ming and I were late.  Then we had a hug around.  It was good to hug everybody present.  Everyone's nice.  There were some good hugs.

Now we're at the goddess temple, and I'm using Ming's computer, and I'm having connectivity issues.  I'm typing this into a text editor and we'll paste it into blogger once we have good internet.  I'm eating some everything crackers.  Other people are unloading a truck.  Somehow if I'm using a computer I can get out of unloading the truck?

This morning I talked to my friend R who lives in Pittsburgh.  I called her from my tent after breakfast while Ming was helping repair someone's foot.  She told me knowledge isn't power because she understands her situation fully but can't fix it.

How many of these crackers can I get away with eating?

This morning we walked very little, compared to other days--just a few miles.  I want to say two miles, but I tend to underestimate mileage, so maybe more like three.  Three and a half?

I was getting into the tent and there was a twig where my hand went, and the twig had thorns on it, so I got a poke, which bled, and my pharmacy called, and I hate their guts, so I started crying.

Peace Walks you gotta take the good with the bad!  It's the joy and the pain.  It's very real.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

peace walk

Today we peace walked.  We walked all morning.  That was about ten miles.  Yep, I walked ten miles today.  We stopped for lunch sometime around 2.  "I don't now if I have any more walk within me today," I told my friend J.  He offered to give me a ride back to the Nevada Desert Experience office.  So I didn't do any walking post-lunch.

This year I didn't cry on the Strip.  Ming held my hand.  And I knew what it would be like.  And I wasn't in terrible pain.  (Last year my calves were cramping up.)

I got overstimulated.  My brain got too full.  I needed quiet.  My needs don't match what the world has to give.  My needs don't match everyone else's need to talk talk talk.  I really like talking and listening sometimes.  But not too much.

Tomorrow we go to Highway 95 to walk through the vast gorgeous desert.

I hope my body recovers overnight from today's ten miles.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

orientation day

Tomorrow is the first day of the Sacred Peace Walk.  @NVDesertExp  That's a thing that might make my post tweet or something.  So Ming says.  Or maybe this.  #NVDesertExp

Anyway, tomorrow is the first day of the Sacred Peace Walk.  We'll walk the Strip for peace.  The first day is hard because it's in the city and we have to face a lot of Las Vegas-ness.  By that I mean the stuff that makes it Sin City.  I wonder how I'll fare this year.

Today we had the orientation.  We talked about drones, Creech Air Force Base, the route, getting arrested.  Someone called on me to speak about when I got arrested last year.  I was unprepared but told a good little story.  I almost cried, and people clapped.  The orientation is full of info and light on stories.

I am thinking about how important stories are, to me, and the relationship between stories and gender and how people think differently--I am tutoring someone who thinks in a way that I don't understand, sometimes.  The people who think in big abstract ways and the people who need a lot of examples.

Ming used to confuse me a lot, the way he talked, but now we communicate well.  I don't know if we met halfway or if one of us changed for the other.

So most everybody's here, and I've met a lot of new people, but I'm not really freaking out.  I was talking about it with Ming yesterday, and he said I'd be okay.  "Because I can always dissociate?" I asked.

Candies and Whims

My friend H sent me the link to this project she's doing.  She is translating some radical texts into Filipino language. 


There's the link if you would like to see if you want to contribute.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Om Bramarpanam

We left home at 5:45 this morning to meet friends in Stockton and take one friend with us here to Las Vegas.  We're in Las Vegas!  We stopped in Baker at Mad Greek Cafe for a late lunch.  I was on grackle-patrol but didn't see any (in the parking lot or on the patio or anywhere).  We saw ravens, though.

We're listening to yoga music, and I'm working.  I'm trying to perfect my recitation of a Sanskrit prayer said before eating.

Brahmarpanam Brahma Havir
Brahmagnau Brahmanaahutam
Brahmaiva Tena Ghantavyam
Brahmakarma Samadhina 

Hari Om Tat Sat

The act of offering is God, the oblation is God
By God it is offered into the Fire of God
God is That which is to be attained by the person
      who performs action pertaining to God

This prayer is common in my sect.  I love it though I have not said it enough to have it memorized yet.  I know the rhythm and sound of it but not all the words.  I called Swami tonight to ask what "Hari Om Tat Sat" means.  Hari is a very dense word, and Om is a sound-symbol that can't be translated.  Tat Sat means "That only is true."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


We're going on a trip to the desert.  We leave early tomorrow morning.  There's so much I should do before then--I have a yellow piece of paper where I wrote the things I need to do, but some of them aren't going to happen.  I'm supposed to be working too.  Cry cry cry!

We bought a speaker for my mp3 player so we could listen to music on the trip.  The worker at Fry's said the charge would last five hours, but I think he was making that number up because I think it's been speaking for about seven.

I should be working, but I think I'm going to print out my packing list and pack.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Today we did the bulletin at church then had lunch with Swami.  In the afternoon we demonstrated for peace.  We got some good response from people in their cars and trucks.  And a young woman who was walking asked me, "What's a drone?"  I was holding my favorite sign: NO TORTURE, NO DRONES.

"It's like a remote control plane that kills people," I said.  Ming was on the phone, so I couldn't get his help.

"So there's no person in it?" she asked.

"What'd you say?" I asked.  Her accent confused me.

"So there's no person in it?" she asked.

"Right," I said.  "No one's in it." 

She thanked me and kept walking with her friend.  She had a large mark on her face, possibly a birthmark.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Here's a sticker by the co-op, right around the corner from the one I posted a few days ago.  Same person?

That's borage in our garden.

And here's blue-eyed grass outside the Fremont Community Garden.  Used to love that stuff when I worked at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

how to depress yourself / how to happify yourself

This morning we went to the free clinic where I get my prescriptions.  The doctor I saw two weeks ago made a mistake writing my prescription, so the pharmacy rejected it, and I needed to get it fixed. 

We went for a walk as we waited, and I liked being in a different neighborhood than usual.  We saw a lot of cigar wrappers--I noted that I see a lot of cigar wrappers on the ground but no one smoking cigars.  I told Ming how when you smoke a cigar, you're not supposed to inhale.

We have been getting a ton of oyster mushrooms from our yard.  A friend asked me to mail her some of the mushroom medium.  "If I send you a ziplock bag, will you do it?" she asked.

Work started Thursday, and I am making myself a little crazy--just a little--by working too much in order to make up for days I'll miss.

What would you do with a glut of oyster mushrooms?  Mushrooms on toast?  We already did mushroom stroganoff.  I was thinking a stirfry with mushrooms and cabbage and onion, but that just doesn't sound good right now.  I had food bank cornflakes for lunch anyway.

How to depress yourself: google ex-classmates and see how they've all published books and you're scoring standardized tests for peanuts. 

How to happify yourself: google pictures of Chaitanya, like this one.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

graffiti sticker by the co-op

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

food from the garden to the table

Here are two garden beds in our backyard, the two farthest from the apartment building.  They have garlic, collard greens, carrots, chard, onions, peas, and cheese weed growing in them right now.

 Here's what Ming harvested while I was at art therapy.

And here's the curried collard greens and mushrooms with beans we made for dinner.

words from the self to the self

This is my new zine.  It's an affirmations zine, handwritten, and very small.  I only made about 25 copies.  Let me know if you want one!

tulips and camellias

Here's the mystery plant growing in our garden--gorgeous tulips!

And we saw this on a walk: camellias and their petals all over a yard, a fence, and the sidewalk.

oyster mushrooms

Ming wanted me to tell you that the oyster mushrooms we harvested are from our own backyard.  It's time to harvest more, and Ming's going to get some collard greens too so I can make curried collard greens with beans.

Last night was food bank food giveaway.  It was okay.  Among many, many other things, we got some black-eyes peas.  We got some canned chicken which we gave to a neighbor.

Yesterday Ming ran a tool care workshop.  I helped.  I was helpful.  Go me! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

plant life / fungus life

Here are some cheerful flowers from our neighborhood walk.

The oyster mushrooms we picked and took inside and left on the counter overnight released spores.  Ming did dishes and dropped some water, which is what the two circles are.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

multiplying dumpster couches

Friday, March 08, 2013

thrumming with gratitude

Ming brought me some collard greens flowers for my desk, and they bloomed while we were away, so when we came home, they were all bloomed and gorgeous.  I wish I could take you a picture.  They make me happy.  Thanks, lover.


My loved friend E in Australia sent me a rainbow armband, and I'm so happy I could cry.  I have never possessed such a thing!  If you are reading--thanks, E!  The greeting card with a Banksy of two cops kissing is perfect for me too.  How do you know just what I'd like?  And the ticket stubs, and the postcard.  Thank you thank you thank you.

mail break

We went on a trip.  We're home now.  Some highlights were the Santa Ynez Mission, baking gingerbread cookies, and seeing my brother.  Now I am suffused with excellent mail.  Just taking a break from reading mail to say hi.  Hi!

Monday, March 04, 2013

Roll Up Your Sleeves

There's this documentary called Roll Up Your Sleeves that I've been wanting to watch for a long time, but watching movies isn't really part of my life, so it never happens.


But it's about DIY and features a band I like, Ghost Mice.  It's only 27 minutes. 

Sunday, March 03, 2013

curried collard greens with beans

For lunch today we made curried greens with beans.  It's based off this recipe, which I guess is based off a recipe for mustard greens with bacon.


We get half & half at food giveaways and are like, "What do we do with this stuff?" other than make instant mashed potatoes with it.  So I looked up half & half recipes, I think, or somehow came across the above recipe, which I amended a lot.

lots of collard greens Ming picked fresh from the backyard
curry powder
can of tomato sauce
can of white kidney beans, drained
half & half
canola oil

Slice the collard greens into ribbons.  Saute them in some canola oil until they're cooked.  Then add the onion, garlic, and ginger.  Saute until they're cooked too.  (Maybe they should have gone in the other way around--oh well, still worked out great.)  Add the curry powder and tomato sauce and beans.  Mix.  Turn off the heat and add some half & half.  I guessed at half a cup and added more until the color looked good. 

The tomato sauce is salty, but I did add some salt to my food on my plate.  And we had a little leftover plain white rice in the fridge, so I heated that up and we ate it over rice. 

And it was so good!  We kept saying how it was so good while we ate it.  And I said I would eat it once a week.  I think collard greens and beans are really good for us.  The half & half isn't, but it does make the whole dish very delicious. 


The other day Ming and I took a long walk to McKinley Park.  We stopped at the feedstore on the way to take a look at the little chicks.  There were yellow ones and black ones.  They peeped.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

city oranges

I keep forgetting to tell you that we tried a city orange.  Sacramento is a place where citrus grows.  And there are a lot of orange trees planted in public places.  A week ago we tried a fallen orange from McClatchy Park.  We picked up several before finding one that looked good.  But it was sour as a lemon and full of seeds.  Ming told me he's heard they're marmalade oranges.

Here's a very repetitive article about city oranges.


Friday, March 01, 2013

poetry reading

Last night we went to a poetry reading at Luna's.  It was great, and we had a really good time even though for the first 45 minutes we took turns sharing one chair.  We talked to our friend who runs the show about zines and fishing.  The waitperson was wonderful, moving through the crowd getting everyone food and drink.  We had some fresh-squeezed orange juice, and it was delicious.

I read four poems during the open mic part.  I was very brave.  We were up late.  It was fun.